Mack, Mourinho And Murs: These Are The Top Ten Most Iconic Soccer Aid Moments

This weekend we will see the 11th showing of the greatest charity football match
06:55, 11 Jun 2022

The greatest charity football game the world has ever seen is back this weekend as Soccer Aid returns for its 11th instalment. Taking place at the London Stadium for the first time, the likes of Usain Bolt, Liam Payne, Gary Neville and Andrea Pirlo will don their boots to raise money for UNICEF. 

With the overall score between England and the Rest of the World level at 5-5, we should be in for a cracker and to commemorate this crucial encounter, we’ve taken a look back at the top ten Soccer Aid moments. Buckle up.

Love Island 1-0 John Terry

If ever a sub-heading summed up Soccer Aid, this is it. Kem Cetinay, who has proved himself to be a half decent footballer in recent years, shot to superstardom on Love Island, but made himself a household name with this late equaliser against England. He got the ball on the right wing, cut inside former England captain John Terry to leave him for dead, and curled the ball into the corner. And they say there’s no talent on Love Island…

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Serge’s stunner

Serge Pizzorno of rock band Kasabian wrote himself into Soccer Aid lore back in 2012. Still known as the ‘Wonder Goal’ and a beloved memory of fans across the years, Pizzorno scored an absolute beauty. The guitarist took the ball as he was rushing into the box and, without missing a beat, used his first touch to loop the ball into the net over David Seaman, the second most-capped England goalkeeper of all time. Pizzorno - representing the Rest of the World through his Italian heritage - was visibly ecstatic. Everyone else? Gobsmacked.

Shepherd sees red

As Mourinho proved, it’s almost impossible to get sent off in a charity game. Yet day-time television presenter and Soccer Aid stalwart Ben Shepherd somehow managed it in 2014 after picking up two yellow cards in 52 minutes, the second after a crunching late tackle on Dimitar Berbatov. It’s only happened once, and surely won’t happen again. Shepherd is a history maker. 

Mourinho vs Murs

Jose Mourinho, one of the world’s most successful managers in his second spell with Chelsea, took charge of the Rest of the World team in 2014 and brought his patented bastardry to the occasion. His unlucky victim was the singer and television personality Olly Murs. Murs had just latched onto an excellent ball from teammate and captain Jonathan Wilkes on the left-flank. Mou decided to take it upon himself to drop Murs to the ground with an expertly timed challenge to the delight of the crowd. It also provided us with something that would become a rare moment: Mourihno smiling on the Old Trafford sidelines.

Blake Harrison hits winning penalty

Who was it that truly turned around England’s penalty fortunes at major tournaments? Was it Gareth Southgate? Jordan Pickford? Eric Dier? Nope. Back in 2018, just as the World Cup was getting under way in Russia, Blake Harrison of The Inbetweeners fame scored a cracking winning penalty at Old Trafford. The finish was good but the arms aloft ‘Cantona-esque’ celebration was even better. A truly iconic moment. 

Lee Mack silences doubters

In 2018, comedian Lee Mack missed a penalty for England. In 2019, he missed the crucial spot-kick in another shootout defeat. But in 2021, he returned this time for the Rest of the World and his Irish heritage seemed to prove lucky as he sensationally scored the third and final goal of the match. It was only a tap-in but his celebration made the entire game, as he revealed a shirt which had a picture of his biggest critic, Rob Brydon’s face on it. 

Mark’s got the Wright stuff

Something to rival Serge in the scoring stakes. The Only Way Is Essex star Mark Wright stepped up to take a dead-ball and the echoes of “Too far for Ronaldo to think of it” was probably at the back of quite a few minds at The Theatre of Dreams. Wright struck the ball perfectly from the free-kick and the shot sailed in for England’s opener. Patrick Kielty - who had only been in net for four minutes after replacing Dida - was helpless.

Davids v Wilkes

The event had gotten into the swing of things by the time Soccer Aid 2014 rolled around - a nice, friendly and cordial occasion. Only two players had forgotten the memo - organiser Wilkes, and firebrand Edgar Davids, a Netherlands legend. A typical Davids clattering upon Wilkes led to on-field fisticuffs, and later on in the game the England vice-captain threw away his rival’s shinpads. Davids responded by visibly goading his opponent and demonstrating his best skill with some quick feet, taunting Wilkes to try and get the ball off him. He didn’t.

It’s a charity game Edgar!

James Kyson Lee’s imperfect corner

The Korean-born American actor showed his incredible knowledge of the sport in 2014. Not content with producing the world’s worst cross, Kyson Lee was on-hand to take corner duty... and took it as a throw-in. Thankfully, some bloke called Zinedine Zidane was on hand to correct him.

Woody gets a buzz

Of all people, back in 2010, not many had Woody Harrelson down as the match winner. However, after a 2-2 draw which saw goals from Jamie Redknapp, Teddy Sheringham, Joe Calzaghe and Sami Hyypi the game went to penalties.

After 10 penalties apiece we reached sudden death and after Jamie Theakston failed to score, Woody Harrelson stepped up to fire past Theakston himself to seal the winner. The celebrations were almost unmatched as the Rest of the World recorded their first ever victory. Bring on more moments like this! 

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